|Finally found a bit on the "gentlemen's agreement" in Detzler's Allegiance:
This does not appear to be a solemn pledge to be broken at the peril of perpetual dishonor. Anderson knew nothing about it.
The next day, when Buchanan met again with them [SC commissioners], they handed him their written understanding of what had been said. Buck read it carefully and made only one objection. They had written that there would be no assault on the forts "provided" that there were no changes in the forts' status. The president told them that he did not approve of that word since it seemed to bind his hands. They, less sophisticated than he in diplomatic parlance, struck the word out. They tried hard to get some clear promise from him about the forts; then, unable to get one, they rose to leave. As they made their good-byes, Buchanan said amiably that this arrangement was essentially "a matter of honor between gentlemen," that written docoments were unnecessary. We understand each other," he said. (footnote) Perhaps they did; perhaps not.
Remarkably, Buchanan was unaware, while speaking to the delegation of Carolinians, that his government had just sent a man named Major Don Carlos Buell to Charleston on a mission that would alter forever any "agreement" the president may have made.
Last edited on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 08:33 pm by ole